There are many things to consider with a decking project. One of the big decisions to think about is whether to install softwood or hardwood decking. There are pros and cons for both and here we take a look at the difference between the two.

Softwood decking is made from fast growing evergreen or coniferous trees that produce a wood that is softer as its structure is less dense than a hardwood. The most common softwoods come from evergreen conifers like pine or spruce.

Hardwood decking is made from slow growing trees, which are often referred to as broadleaved trees. Commonly used hardwoods for decking are Balau and Ipe. Hardwood is the warmest and most natural material. It is a more expensive option as the wood is more costly and it takes more expertise to install.

If cost is a consideration then softwood decking is cheaper than hardwood decking as it grows faster and so is cheaper to produce. The wood fibres are tightly packed together and this structure gives the boards the strength and durability needed to last. The wood can be stained to give you a choice of colours.

All the softwood decking that we install is pressure treated. You need to carry out maintenance by cleaning regularly and treating with a decking oil annually. However maintenance applies to both hard and softwood to ensure that your decking continues to look great and last a long time. If not treated then both woods will start to fade to grey. If they do start to fade to grey then use a wood cleaner and colour restorer and then protect it with a wood finish of your choice.

A penetrating oil finish is perfect for soft and hardwoods. Most oils are clear but you can also get tinted wood oils.

If you would like to discuss a decking project please email or call 0203 633 6413 to arrange a consultation.